Orchids From Russia

Dr. Irina Tatarenko is Senior Scientific Researcher and graduated from Moscow State University in 1981.
She received PhD in 1991 for her studies of orchids in the Far East of Russia.
From 1991 to 1994, she dealt with Red Data Book of Russia and since 1994, she has been working as a senior researcher in Moscow Pedagogical State University.
She published more than 50 papers and a monograph on morphology, demography and mycorrhiza of terrestrial orchids.
She has been invited to participate in 18th WOC, as a lecturer to talk about Orchids in Eastern Europe and Their Conservation..
  Foto / Photo: ©Sergio Araujo

Gymnadenia conopsea in the North Urals Mountains

Orchis morio from the North-West Caucasus,
very South of Russia

ON: Dr. Irina Tatarenko, could you tell a little about the geographical conditions, climate and habitats of your country?
IT: Russia is quite large country with a range of climate and habitat conditions from tundra in Arctic zone and abobe the Polar Circle to taiga as a wide area with coniferous forests, then to dicidious forests in the Middle of European part of Russia, the Middle Urales, Far East of Russia, and the Cuacasus.

ON: Concerning the orchids, where the most part of species occur?
IT: The most orchid species grow in forest zones, in different habitats as meadows, bogs and marshes. Less orchids occur in the vast area covered by bogs in Western Siberia, and in dry steppes and semidesert zones in the South of Siberia, the Southern Urales, and very South of European Part of Russia.

ON: How many genera and species? Which are the most important genera?
IT: According to Tatarenko (1996) there are 136 species of 43 genera in Russia. However, the amount of species is not so certain as Dactylorhiza genus is taxonomically too complicate to determine the certain number of the species in it.

ON: Which are the endemic species?
IT: There is only an endemic species Liparis sachalinensis growing on Sakhalin Island in the Far East of Russia. Many species have boarders of their distributions on the territory of Russia. Some species occur throughover the territory (Cypripedium calceolus, Goodyera repens, Epipogium aphyllum, Listera cordata, Neottia nidus-avis etc.). Other species are European with eastern boarder of distribution in the Urales, others are mostly Asian. Genera diversity is highest in the Far East and the Caucasus regions.

Calipso bulbosa which can grow in very North
of Russia keeping green leaf under the snow

ON: They are terrestrial, aren't they?
IT: All species are terrestrial.

ON: Which is the biggest dangered orchid in Russia?
IT: Orchids occuring on the boarders of their distributions are the most endangered in Russia: Gymnadenia odoratissima in the Urales, Habenaria radiata in Primorye Territory, Chamorchis alpina in Extreme North of Russia in Murmansk Province. Orchids need protection in the densely populated regions as Moscow Province, Center of European Russia and the North-West Caucasus.

ON: What can be do for helping the conservation?
IT: Nature Zapovednics and National Parks are the best solution for rare species conservation. The developing of orchid cultivation in vitro would also help a lots for their conservation.

ON: Do you have a kind of government help for this? Is there a preoccupation about the conservation of orchids or nature in general?
IT: Government support by a law the protection of plants listed in Red Data Book of Russia. However, this law works unsuffisiently.

ON: Thank you very much, Dr. Irina Tatarenko.

Photos by Irina Tatarenko

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